The Telegraph
Saturday , September 1 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mary, Mary, quite contrary

- Olympian boxer to walk the ramp in Mumbai

Mumbai/Imphal, Aug. 31: She has sidestepped and shuffled, ducked and dodged, retreated and attacked, but has never set foot on a catwalk. Now a different ring awaits this Olympian, who is anxious to know how well the new glove fits her. An upcoming charity fashion show for actress Shabana Azmi’s NGO, Mijwan Welfare Society, is the new challenge for Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom where the 29-year-old boxer from Manipur will share the ramp with other celebrities, including Arjun Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha. “Mary Kom to walk the ramp for Mijwan Sonnets in Fabric on September 3. She is such a role model and our Mijwan schoolgirls are over the moon,” Shabana tweeted. It will be a charity fashion show, where designer Manish Malhotra will showcase his designs to aid the ongoing programmes of Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS), an NGO founded by Kaifi Azmi in 1993.

“All of us have been working round-the-clock for Mijwan Sonnets in Fabric September 3 Grand Hyatt Mumbai. Need your blessings for its success,” Shabana added on the micro-blogging site.

The society works for the progress and empowerment of villages by providing schools, roads and electricity, among others. It proposes to bring social and economic equity. This is the third time that such a fashion show is being held by the society with stars such as Imran Khan, Deepika Padukone and Karan Johar slated to attend.

Mary Kom’s family confirmed that she would be walking the ramp and is excited over the upcoming charity event, where the Olympic bronze medallist would be the main attraction. Mary and her husband Onler Kom returned to Imphal this afternoon after a tour. “Yes, Mary has confirmed her participation in the fashion show and she is excited about it,” Onler told this correspondent over phone. Shabana Azmi and Mary Kom know each other for quite some time. Shabana proposed the name of Mary Kom for inclusion in the event at a dinner in Mumbai during Mary’s visit to the city a few days back. And Mary readily accepted it. “Of course she is excited. At the same time she is a bit nervous. Because she will be taking part in a fashion show for the first time and that, too, with professionals and in the midst of who’s who of Bollywood,” Onler said.

For Mary, it is not about only walking the ramp but also support to the charity event. She herself is known for her generosity. She runs her boxing institute in Imphal without taking any fee and provides free food and stay for the students. Being a member of the Kom community, which has a variety of dance forms, Mary is an expert dancer. With her confidence and dance footwork, walking the ramp will come easy for her.

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